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Home > News > PTI

SC: Is Delhi waiting for
Mumbai-like disaster?

September 07, 2005 17:40 IST

Exasperated by lack of political will and unkept promises to augment choked civic amenities in Delhi, the Supreme Court Wednesday wondered whether authorities here were waiting for a Mumbai-like disaster to happen to get out of their state of inertia.

Abench, comprising Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice B N Agrawal, was severe in its criticism of the manner in which the government, irrespective of whichever political party was in power, showed little will to stop encroachment on the banks of the river Yamuna leading to its pollution.

Moreover, the rapid influx of migrants to the city and the open political invitation to settle in the capital with an assurance that their settlements would be regularised had a debilitating effect on the city's civic amenities including the sewer system, water and electricity supply, it remarked.

Observing that the cut-off date for regularisation of slums had been like a mirage as the first cut-off year of 1972 had kept moving forward all these years, the bench said and added "there is a total observation of all the laws in breach".

These observations came when the bench was taken through the 10-year-old case by amicus curiae (friend of the court) Ranjit Kumar pointing out deadline after deadline, assurances and promises none of which were honoured.

"The civic amenities are under severe strain. That is what happened in Mumbai where the civic amenities collapsed under severe pressure from the increasing number of people. It is bound to happen here unless some urgent steps are taken," the bench said.

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